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Major supermarket chains have joined forces to broadcast a number of adverts on Channel 4 in support of Sainsbury's and as part of an anti-racism initiative:
The companies, which will include Tesco, M&S, Iceland, Asda, Waitrose, Aldi, Lidl and Co-op, will air their adverts one after another during the same ad breaks on Friday night.
It's widely known that supermarket brands try to keep their adverts as far apart as they can but, for a short time, competition will be put on the backburner as the chains unite.
This comes after Sainsbury's were targeted by vile racist abuse on social media when they released a festive advert of a black family enjoying Christmas.
Now Channel 4 has agreed to support the initiative and air the ads side by side. The first will take place at 8.15pm during Bake Off: Extra Slice and the second will happen at 10.15pm during The Last Leg. The adverts will bear the hashtag #StandAgainstRacism.
According to Metro, the breaks will be prefaced by a Channel 4 announcement saying: "Channel 4 stands up against racism. After the reaction to this year's Sainsbury's Christmas commercial, retailers have put their usual festive rivalries aside across two ad breaks tonight to stand side by side with us too."
Rachel Eyre, head of brand communications and creative at Sainsbury's, said: "We strive to be an inclusive retailer and we're proud to unite with our industry colleagues to stand up against racism.
"We're passionate about reflecting modern Britain and celebrating the diversity of the communities we serve, from our advertising to the products we sell.
"Sainsbury's is for everyone and we are committed to playing our part in helping to build an equal society."
An M&S spokesperson said: "We're with you Sainsbury's. Christmas is about bringing everyone together and we absolutely stand together against racism with our fellow retailers."
Verica Djurdjevic, chief revenue officer at Channel 4, said: "As an anti-racist organisation, we are incredibly proud to stand together with Sainsbury's and our retail partners against racism, using our national platform to call out the unacceptable reaction to Sainsbury's Christmas advert."
When Sainsbury's first experienced the backlash, a spokesperson told the Metro: "We want to be the most inclusive retailer where colleagues love to work and customers love to shop.
"We are proud that our advertising represents the diverse communities we serve and our Christmas campaign features three stories of three different families. Sainsbury's is for everyone and it's important to us that our advertising reflects this."
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